Being Built Together Into A Dwelling Place For God

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:20-22 (New Living Translation, NLT)

There is no greater joy and privilege than to be among those about whom God says, “you are my chosen, holy and dearly loved ones.” (Colossians 3:1) We are recipients of His grace and mercy, and, from God’s glorious, unlimited resources we are empowered through the Spirit in our inner being (Ephesians 3:16 NLT), being “made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God,” (Ephesians 3:19 NLT).

There is no greater travesty than to have been given such an inheritance only to horde it. It is a joy and a privilege for RAU to come alongside Pastors and church leaders to teach, remind, encourage and exhort them concerning the richness of God towards them in Christ Jesus and towards the people they serve in their churches and communities. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16) and, mutually, with one another, we may share the grace so richly received.

Above: 20,861 ESV TruTone Global Study Bibles arrived to Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU). Their next destination: leaders from Uganda, South Sudan and the Republic of (North) Sudan. Praise God for His love for His people!

While Jesus Christ is building His church, we–His church–also have work to do. We are not a stone-cast structure, but a living and growing dwelling for the Spirit of Christ, “...growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4: 15-16) RAU’s deepest desire and purposeful plan is to take part in that process here–in northwestern Uganda, South Sudan, and the Republic of Sudan among local churches whose leaders have had limited access to spiritual building tools, resources and shoulder-to-shoulder encouragement. The teaching and discipleship process allows both teacher and student to experience the global nature of God’s people, His dwelling place.

Just recently, we completed another retreat here on RAU campus with 49 pastors and leaders from the Metu Mountain churches, surrounding communities (such as Moyo, Adjumani and Eria), Yumbe and numerous Refugee settlements within Uganda for South Sudanese and refugees from The Republic of (North) Sudan. A teaching team from Maryland (Jason Van Bemmel, Bob Brown, Shawn Trautman and Philip Pugh) arrived safely with many wonderful resources for Pastors and leaders who took part in the 9 day retreat, covering Systematic Theology and Church History. On the Monday following the start of the retreat, Jacob took the teaching team up into the Metu Mountains to visit several of the churches that have been planted in partnership between Ayaa Baptist Church, Ijujo Baptist and RAU. Meanwhile, back at the campus, our Agricultural Production Officer, Odendi Zakeo and mission partner, Paul George, gave the retreat attendees a full day of learning on grafted mangoes and vegetable gardening (both classroom and hands-on). It was a marathon 9 days, but we pray that, out of the many topics that were covered, each one will take away something which equips them more and is an encouragement or source of strength.

Resources continue to be given out or sent to many leaders within Uganda and to those in South Sudan and the Republic of (north) Sudan. At least 2-3 times a week we receive requests for Bibles and send them off from the large container of Bibles that we only recently received after a two year process of fundraising, printing and shipping. It is a contagious joy with which recipients hold an ESV Global Study Bible in their hands, or other pastoral literature. In places where there is a “famine for the word of God” (here it is a famine of access; in the USA, it’s more like a famine of priority), we are seeing a growing appreciation for what is made available to leaders in the church and a cry for more–how can a building be built without tools?!!

Pastors within Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement who are working through the 18 different books which RAU provided; currently, they have gotten through Chapter 5 of “The Family Life of a Christian Leader“, led by Joshua Abraham

These last weeks and months have been full–especially for Jacob as he oversees ongoing building projects given the short timeline of our returning to the USA and the reality of two families making their way here to serve with us. In order to make room, two buildings have needed renovating. Once Jacob and I move to our new spot and Zorah and Josiane move to theirs, we will be able to make the homes for the new families ship shape. Paul George, our dear friend and co-worker, continues to be as flexible as a well-cooked noodle–moving wherever is needed! Jacob is also setting up the process of fencing the newly acquired land (upon which we hope to build a private hospital) so that it can be finished by the time we come back from the USA.

Please be in prayer for the Aaron and Amanda Langworthy and their family and Ben and Sara Pryce and their family as they itinerate and raise funds to meet their budgets; both families are being sent by ABWE and are actively working to join us. Prayerfully consider supporting them. As you know, it has been the fervent prayer for Jacob and me that the Lord would thrust forth laborers into the harvest fields (with us, in particular) so that the work that has been started can be completed. There is yet so much to be done and it requires a relay team–ones to whom we can pass the baton. In the fullness of time, God has seen fit to send other “builders”–please speed their way here!

God, from the very beginning, has been all about dwelling in relationship with His people–from the Garden, to Tabernacle and Temple and then in human form, through Christ Jesus. Up until the time of His return, Jesus dwells in His people through His Spirit. God wants His glory spread throughout the world and He has chosen us to be emissaries of that commission. We are well aware that, in the grand and glorious scheme of history, the part that Jacob and I play or that RAU plays is small. But, it’s in that context that we rejoice to do our part in the building up of the Body of Christ, comforted by the promise that Christ Jesus, Himself, is building His Church. Whatever God does is good (James 1:17) and whatever He begins, He completes (Philippians 1:6)! Praise God!

Consider these needs of RAU as you pray: Grace, guidance and wisdom for Paul George and Onette Zorah as they manage things in our absence; safety and well-being for Anzoa Gift as she and her father travel back to India for re-placement of her pacemaker; guidance in progressing toward the goal of a hospital; blessing upon all the ministry events coming up upon our return which include: an Old Testament survey, a medical outreach into the Metu Mountains and more.

Please be in prayer for Jacob and me as we travel, spend time with family and friends and visit churches (3 new ones). Pray that, in spite of all the travel, we would be refreshed in the Lord and through His people and receive strength to continue all that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Please intercede for us that we may be instrumental in the building up of the body of Christ by encouraging and exhorting her to obedience and sacrifice. Pray for safety and divine appointments. Pray for our own growth in the Lord, in wisdom, godliness and thankfulness.

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RAU’s Mission and Vision Statements/Statement of Faith:

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!

Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!

When at least 35% of the world; “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!

Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!

I am sure that none of us will say when in heaven that we prayed too much, we sacrificed too much, proclaimed the gospel too much, and were too passionate to get the gospel to those who have little to no access to this gospel of grace. Let us together press on to make it our  ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named!

Our goal in our gospel witness is to take our eyes off the “risk” and place them on the cause for the risk. When God compels us like this he often will not tell us the risks…after all there are no risks for the all-knowing, all-powerful God. So let us be AMBITIOUS (Romans 15:20) to see that ALL are reached with the gospel of grace (Romans 1:16) in ALL places…there are no closed doors to the gospel, just some which are more difficult to go through!

Jacob Lee

2 thoughts on “Being Built Together Into A Dwelling Place For God

  1. Andrea Smith

    Praise the Lord for another wonderful pastors and teachers retreat!Exciting how the Lord is preparing new things, the hospital land and the new families.I heard you have been talking to my friends Tim and Karen Sanford as well. 🙂 Continuing to pray for the Lord to lead and provide for his purposes. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  2. Drichi Monday

    It’s of great pleasure by the power of the lord as all we seek in his name is being provided and am always happy seeing progress you are portraying by bringing light where there is darkness through his words by preaching the gospel to the children of God in preparation for the future, be blessed pastor and keep up the good leadership.

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